Architecture Culture, Humanitarian Expertise: From the Tropics to Shelter, 1953–93 recovers a history of architecture and humanitarianism through an examination of institutions and the development of a subfield of professional practice. Charting mutual interest between major humanitarian agencies and the architecture and planning professions, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi maps the joint construction of expertise, tying together three sets of concerns: preoccupations with the tropics and climate as anchor points for the science and rationalization behind building design, the institutionalization of humanitarian spatial expertise in the academy and industry, and a tension between models for development and for relief. This joint activity and its discursive themes, from the “tropics” to “shelter”—whether aggrandizing or instrumentalizing the shared mission of architecture and humanitarianism—raised the stakes for architectural expertise as a driver for practice as well as history.

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